California remains the highest-ranking state in terms of construction equipment theft, part of a $1 billion a year problem that has become increasingly difficult to detect, according to an annual report from the LoJack Corporation.
The Construction Equipment Theft and Recovery study, which reviews theft trends specific to construction equipment and tools equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System, finds that many equipment owners and rental companies don’t realize how big of a target they are for theft.
"It has become harder to detect construction theft, and combined with the fact that job sites are often poorly secured, thieves are finding the theft of construction equipment is a lucrative opportunity," Courtney DeMilio, associate vice president for LoJack Commercial, said in a prepared statement.
Among the study’s findings, according to JoJack:
- Light utility vehicles / work trucks and trailers are the most common type of commercial equipment stolen.
- Newer equipment models were stolen more often than older equipment—largely due to the fact that the resale value of new equipment is greater. In fact, 46 percent of equipment stolen in 2013 was less than five years old.
- In 95 percent of the cases, the stolen equipment was recovered in the same state that the theft was reported.
- Construction theft is prevalent in suburban areas, particularly in areas where construction growth is widespread.
California again tops the states’ list because it has many active construction projects and an international border with access to major shipping ports, LoJack said. The other nine states in the Top Ten are, in order: Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arizona, Maryland, Ohio, and, with a tie for tenth place, Colorado, Illinois and New York.
"LoJack's data reveals that 44 percent of equipment installed with our system was recovered in less than five hours after being reported stolen," DeMilio said. "A swift recovery time of equipment is growing in importance, as modern economic conditions have led construction businesses to increasingly rent rather than purchase equipment. This rising demand for heavy-duty rental equipment has made rental companies, and the businesses they supply, vulnerable for not only theft, but significant monetary losses as a result of theft.”
The complete LoJack report can be found here.